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Joe Conti
Rokudan, Shihan, Renshi, Sensei

 

Conti Sensei holds rank and teaching certificates in the following martial arts: Okinawan Shorin-ryu Karate, Aikido, Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, Judo, Kempo, Okinawan Kobudo (weapons), Kenjutsu, Iaijutsu, and Iaido (sword arts).  He has been training and teaching Martial Arts for over forty five years.


After studying and teaching Nihon Goshin Aikido for over fifteen years under the direction of Master Richard A. Bowe, Conti Sensei began his study of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu Kodokai under Master Teacher Katsumi Yonezawa from Hokkaido, Japan and Hawayo Kiyama Shihan from Los Osos, California.  Sensei was also honored to have hosted Tatsuo Shimbo Shihan during a week-long Daitoryu seminar when Shimbo Shihan accompanied Yonezawa Sensei to the NJ Aikikai and Budokan.Japan
 
Sensei studied with Master Yonezawa and Hawayo Kiyama Shihan for over eight years.  After eight years of hosting the master in his home every summer in the USA and training with him, Conti Sensei received the ranks of Sandan, Okusandan, Yondan, Godan, and Jun Shihan Daidi, and was appointed as the first Eastern United States Director of Kodokai Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu.  Conti Sensei sponsored countless seminars, clinics, and workshops for and with Yonezawa Sensei and Hawayo Kiyama Shihan throughout the eastern United States during the eight-year relationship.  As the Eastern United States Director for several years, Conti Sensei attempted to organize and spread the knowledge and skills of Kodokai Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, but unfortunately politics guided the growth of the association.  Therefore, Conti Sensei decided to resign from the position and the organization.  The NJ Aikikai & Budokan is no longer affiliated with either Nihon Goshin Aikido or Kodokai Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu.


Conti Sensei studied Okinawan Isshin-ryu Karate with Master Gary Alexander in the 1970s and Shorin-ryu Karate with Master Vince Ward and Master John Hamilton from the 1970s to the present day.  Conti Sensei's Okinawan, Japanese, and Chinese weapons knowledge and skills were imparted by Master Vince Ward.  Sensei was also fortunate to have studied Kick Boxing, Judo, Kenjutsu, Kempo, and Ninjutsu with the legendary Joe Lewis, John Larlee, Vince Ward, John Hamilton, Dennis Decker, and Richard Wiggington, respectively.


Having studied Aikido, Aikijujutsu, Judo, Shorin-ryu Karate, Kempo, Kobudo, Kobujutsu, Iaido, Iaijutsu, and Kenjutsu for over forty five years and attaining teacher and master certifications, Sensei is now affiliated with the Shorin No Tora Ryu dojo and the Sho-Ha Shorin-ryu Karate Federation.  Conti Sensei was also a member of the Japanese Sword Society.


Periodically, throughout the school-year, Sensei teaches a self defense course at William Paterson University for the Go Japan Club and the Asian Culture Club. He has appeared on cable TV providing several special martial arts demonstrations for the Asian Cultural Arts Society, which aired on the "Asian Culture in America" program hosted by Paul Sher.

 

The European Karate and Martial Arts Federation honored Sensei by asking him to teach at the November 2008 International Martial Arts Seminar in Tours, France.  The European organization is represented by 12 countries and has a student population of 22,000 members.  Sensei was fortunate to have instructed approximately 300 advanced students at the seminar.


In addition to his martial arts degrees and teaching certificates, Sensei devoted thirty-five years to public education as a teacher, supervisor, vice principal, and a director of technology.  He achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Science, a State of New Jersey teaching certificate, principal's and supervisor's certificates, and a master's degree in Educational Administration.

Sensei also plays the guitar and keyboard and sings in a band with his wife. 
Sensei had the opportunity to work as a stunt man for stunt director Pete Bucossi, and assisted in the choreography of an altercation in the movie Music and Lyrics.   Another opportunity was in the HBO history-making series The Sopranos  where Sensei played a bodyguard and was "whacked" in the episode entitled Remember When.  Recently, Sensei had a small part in the Columbia Pictures movie The Bounty Hunter.

 

 
Rick Jones
Yondan, Renshi

  

 Mr. Jones began his training at age seven at the Aikido School of Self Defense in Piscataway, NJ, of which Sensei Joe Conti was the proprietor.  This began a life long study of the martial arts.   Mr. Jones spent seven years studying the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido at the Piscataway based dojo.   After a four year hiatus, he returned to the teacher and arts he vehemently missed.  Beginning his studies again as a white belt, he trained and studied his way to Sho Dan and currently to Yon Dan with Conti Sensei in the arts of Shorin Ryu Karate, aikijujutsu, kobujutsu and self defense.   His study also has included iaijutsu and kenjutsu as well as history and philosophy.   During the thirty plus years of training he has had the privilege of experiencing direct study with some of Conti Sensei's teachers as well as attending seminars and training with other well known martial arts instructors.   

In 2006 Mr. Jones trained and tested the techniques of a Makimono, which had been awarded to Conti Sensei by Yonazawa Katsumi, Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Kodokai, as part of his Yondan promotion.

In 2008 Mr. Jones accompanied Conti Sensei on his trip to France and assisted in the instruction of the jo (four foot staff) during several seminars for over 300 members of the European Federation of Karate and Traditional Martial Arts.    The following year the jo techniques and kata were added to the Federation's weapons (Kobujutsu) curriculum.

 

Mr. Jones is an NJIT School of Architecture graduate and has worked and owned his own firm in the design and construction industry for over 20 years with recent focus in the Telecommunications and Datacenter industry.

 

Jack MacKay
Sandan

 Mr. Mackay has studied with Conti Sensei at the “N.J. Aiki Kai and Budokan” for almost twenty-five (25) years.  During this time, he has attained the rank of Sandan (third degree/level black belt) in both Shorin-ryu karate and Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu.  He also has extensively trained in the Okinawan weapons and  Japanese sword arts.  Mr. Mackay has been an assistant, and later an instructor, for classes at our school for over fifteen (15) years.   

Before he began his training at the Budokan, Mr. Mackay studied a form of  “Yang-style”  Tai Chi Chuan for several years with instructors under Master Jou, Tsung-Wa in Piscataway, N.J.   In addition to teaching and training in the martial arts, Mr. Mackay has taught Special Education (Social Studies and English) at Piscataway High School (New Jersey) for the past twenty-eight (28) years.  Over this same time period, he has served as a counsel, and later as director, for the Springfield, N.J.-based ACLD (Association for Children and adults with Learning Disabilities) program.  This program offers recreation and socialization activities for adults with learning and/or developmental disabilities.

 

Mal Braich
Nidan

 

Bob Heuner
Shodan

 

James Wohler
Shodan

 

David Kinsky
Shodan

Mr. Kinsky has been training at the NJ Aikikai and Budokan since 1993.  He was promoted to assistant instructor in 1999 and to Shodan in 2007. Over the years, he not only has taught at the dojo but also has instructed the public in self-defense seminars to children and women's groups.

Professionally speaking, Mr. Kinsky manages a team of Systems Engineers for Cisco Systems.  He has worked in the IT Field since 1991.  He has a Master's Degree in Telecomm Management and a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science.

Mr. Kinsky currently resides in Hunterdon County.  He is an active tri-athlete and soccer coach.

  

Greg Wilson

Shodan